We talk a lot about naval shells, torpedoes, and missiles here on Foxtrot Alpha, but it's not very often we get to see the heavy hitting stuff in action on the water. So here's supersonic ramjet-powered cruise missiles absolutely tearing apart a floating target.
In case the video isn't loading properly, the real action starts at about a minute in:
The weapons test comes as a part of surprise naval exercises by the Russian Pacific Fleet, likely aimed as a response to the recent NATO summit in Wales. While the summit may have been full of lame flyovers, leaders there did announce the news of a creation of a new quick-reaction force in Eastern Europe, and the British finally committed to operating a second aircraft carrier, on top of the French admitting that no, they won't be selling Russia an amphibious assault carrier of their own, after all.
Both are seen as moves rebuking Russia in the wake of its war in Ukraine. Plus Canada's always making fun of Russia, and when Canada's having its way with you, you know something's gone horribly wrong.
And then he commenced the naval exercises this week, calling them "unannounced combat readiness check of the Eastern Military District forces," according to Russian government news service RIA Novosti:
"Tactical strike groups of missile, antisubmarine and mine sweeping ships in different formations of the Pacific Fleet practice naval combat with surface action groups of a simulated enemy in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan," the press service said in a statement.
The ships are to practice different kinds of torpedo, gun and mortar firing, as well as mine laying and sweeping, and air defense.
The ship launching the missile above appears to be the Russian naval destroyer Быстрый, pronounced "bystryy," which translates to the Quick. The only Sovremenny-class destroyer in the Pacific Fleet, it carries P-270 Moskit anti-ship cruise missiles.
In NATO parlance, the missile is known as the SS-N-22 Sunburn. It can reach speeds of Mach 3 at high altitude, or Mach 2.2 at low-altitude, along with conventional or nuclear warheads. Clearly, its kinetic energy alone is enough to tear through a surface ship, even without all the explosions.
But more than that, the devil is, as always, in the details. If you notice, two missiles hit the target, from a head-on vector. Not so coincidentally, that's pretty much exactly what you'd try to do if you wanted to take out an American Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
That's because some American destroyers lack a CIWS system (their last line of defense) up front, making them vulnerable to attack during close-in encounters from head-on. And still, even if you only had one up front, it might not do much good against two very high speed missiles approaching from the same vector at the same time.
So you can say that this little video, in its own right, is sending quite the message to Western forces.
And sure, under an actual shooting match, it might not even get close to a NATO fleet. But I don't think you'd want to chance finding out who'd the winner would be, anyways.
Let's hope we never do.